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Hatti o Hatti

by Satish Hattiangadi
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A Short love story!

A story has an end, and we are yet to reach it!

But an incident can be related…

We were fortunate to have a home where water was never in short supply. So it was a serious problem when, one Sunday, the underground and overhead tanks were being cleaned, and we had no water in the house.

Water or no water, it did not stop Leja from her weekly cleaning-up program. And I, as usual, picked up a crossword to solve and went to one corner and sat down. (Those were the days before SUDOKU hit town!)

Leja peeped at me out of the corner of her eye, and I could feel the ambient temperature rise.

But I soon forgot the situation, and was contemplating the 15-letter word at 13 down while relishing a cigarette, and I saw her peep again, with the ambient temperature going up another notch.

But that fifteen-letter word was a tough one, and needed a second cigarette to do justice to it.

That is when I saw Leja’s third peep, and the temperature had now reached boiling point!

“Hay, Hatti, fetch me some water!” (‘Hatti’ was the term used when the situation was in vapour phase!)

“In what shall I fetch it, dear Leja, dear Leja, in what?”

“In a bucket, dear Hatti, dear Hatti, In a bucket, dear Hatti, dear Hatti, in a bucket!”

But there is a hole in the bucket, dear Leja, dear Leja, there is a hole in the bucket, dear Leja, a hole!”

And so I got up and went to the bathroom and picked up a bucket and examined it…

“But there is a hole in the bucket, dear Leja, dear Leja, there is a hole in the bucket, dear Leja, a hole!”

“Then fill it, dear Hatti, dear Hatti, fill it, dear Hatti, FILL IT!”

“With what shall I fill it, dear Leja, dear Leja, with what shall I fill it, dear Leja, dear Leja, with what?”

“With a straw, dear Hatti, dear Hatti, with a straw, dear Hatti, dear Hatti, with a STRAW!”

So yours truly went out in the garden and brought a straw that was lying around.

“But the straw is too long, dear Leja, dear Leja, the straw is too long, dear Leja, too long!”

“Then cut it, dear Hatti, dear Hatti, cut it, dear Hatti, dear Hatti, CUT IT!”

“With what shall I cut it, dear Leja, dear Leja, with what shall I cut it, dear Leja, with what?”

“With an axe, dear Hatti, dear Hatti, with an Axe, dear Hatti, dear Hatti, WITH AN AXE!”

And so I amble to the tool box and pick up the axe. I feel along the edge, and then park myself in front of the mirror and see if I can use the axe to shave myself, and when I can’t, I am convinced.

“But the axe is too dull, dear Leja, dear Leja, the axe is too dull, dear Leja, too dull!”

“Then sharpen it, dear Hatti, dear Hatti, Sharpen it, dear Hati, dear Hatti, SHARPEN IT!”

“On what shall I sharpen it, dear Leja, dear Leja, on what shall I sharpen it, dear Leja, on what?”

“On a stone, dear Hatti, dear Hatti, on a stone, dear Hatti, dear Hatti, ON A STONE!”

Back to the tool box to pick up the whetstone, then on I went to the work bench to put the stone on it, and I picked up the axe to sharpen it.

“But the stone is too dry, dear Leja, dear Leja, the stone is too dry, dear Leja, too dry.”

“The wet it, dear Hatti, dear Hatti, wet it, dear Hatti, dear Hatti, WET IT!”

“With what shall I wet it, dear Leja, dear Leja, with what shall I wet it, dear Leja, with what?”

“With water, dear Hatti, dear Hatti, with water, dear Hatti, WITH WATER!”

“But there is no water, dear Leja, dear Leja, there is no water, dear Leja, no water.”

“Then fetch it, dear Hatti, dear Hatti, FETCH IT!”

“In what shall I fetch it, dear Leja, dear Leja, in what?”

“In a bucket, dear Hatti, dear Hatti, IN A BUCKET!”

“But there is a hole in the bucket, dear Leja, dear leja, there is a hole in the bucket, dear Leja, a hole!”

By then, I had got my word for the crossword puzzle: ‘PROCRASTINATION”

Yes, as you may have guessed, this bares an uncanny resemblance to a certain Calypso tune hummed by Harry Belafonte. But then, all love stories are alike, aren’t they?

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